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Retail trade set for revamp

New policy to aid ease of doing business for traders
Last Updated : 07 March 2023, 02:55 IST
Last Updated : 07 March 2023, 02:55 IST
Last Updated : 07 March 2023, 02:55 IST
Last Updated : 07 March 2023, 02:55 IST

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The government will soon come out with the national retail trade policy that will make doing business easier for traders by enabling better access to finance and infrastructure, a senior official said on Monday.

Speaking at an industry event, joint secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Sanjiv said the government’s focus is on making doing business easier for e-commerce as well as brick and mortar retail traders by bringing in enabling policy changes.

“The government is trying to do policy changes not only in e-commerce but national retail trade policy which will be for physical traders,” Sanjiv said at an event organised by FICCI.

He said the proposed policy would help traders by “providing better infrastructural facilities and “more credit and providing all sorts of benefits to traders.” He didn’t give any timeframe for the introduction of the new policy.

The proposed policy seeks to streamline retail trade by bringing improvement in ease of doing business and ensuring easy and quick access to affordable credit.

Under the new policy, the government is likely to offer support for “modernisation and digitisation” of brick and mortar stores. Another key element of the new policy would be development of physical infrastructure across the distribution chain of retail trade.

Sanjiv said the DPIIT is also in the process of formulating an accident insurance scheme for retail traders. This will be particularly important for small traders, who generally lack insurance cover, he added.

According to DPIIT joint secretary, the focus of the government is on bringing synergy between e-commerce and brick and mortar retail traders.

Bhaskar Ramesh, Director – Omnichannel Business, Google, said despite the recent surge e-commerce still accounts for only a fraction of India’s retail industry and there is need for better synergy between online and offline business. “India needs both – offline stores as well as online,” Ramesh said.

“Consumers are evolving very rapidly,” said Amit Jain, Chairman, L’Oreal India, highlighting the need for “consumer-centric” policy in the retail sector.

“Consumer industry in India has been a victim of indiscriminate low-quality imports,” Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said alluding to imports from China.

He claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government has taken a number of measures to make Indian manufacturing more competitive.

“The government is working to introduce quality standards in a much bigger way to help the Indian manufacturing sector,” the minister said.

Goyal said the ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) will help small retail survive the onslaught of large tech-based e-commerce companies. “Our effort is to encourage small companies, startups to integrate into the e-commerce ecosystem. Like UPI democratised payment systems, ONDC will democratise benefits of e-commerce,” he added.

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Published 06 March 2023, 10:58 IST

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